Kamal Flowers: A Story of Armed Encounters

Written By: Robert Cox

See also: Alec McKenna: A Story of Traffic Stops

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The story of Kamal Flowers is a story of armed encounters with police.

He encountered police armed with a large kitchen knife as a teenager at a residential school. He was arrested on a menacing with a weapon charge at 18, he was arrested on a charge of criminal possession of a gravity knife and a BB gun pistol at 19, and at 21, he was arrested for a carjacking which landed him in state prison with a 42-month sentence.

And on the night of June 5, 2020, an armed encounter with police officer Alec McKenna ended with Flower’s death from multiple gunshot wounds.

That incident occurred less than two weeks after the death of George Floyd sent shockwaves across the country on May 25, 2020.

Flowers was Black. McKenna is White.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the New Rochelle Police Department expedited our records request made last year for Kamal Flowers criminal history. After many months of stonewalling by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the City of Mount Vernon, we obtained additional records including records from Bedford Police and the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla. Despite a newspaper account of Flowers’ arrest in Niagara Falls, local police there said they had no records pertaining to the arrest.

By the end of 2020, we had assembled what we believe to be a complete set of criminal records for arrests of Kamal Flowers in New York. Many of these records are being made public here for the first time.

We decided not to report further on the Flowers records last December without first obtaining detailed disciplinary records for Alec McKenna and the Individual Delinquency Records for all New Rochelle police officers. Without all the IDR records and McKenna’s complete file, we believed any reporting on the Flowers records would lack context. We recently obtained those police records.

Kamal Flower was born on December 9, 1995.

By the age of 16 he was living at Abbott House in Somers, NY. Abbott House is a residential school for students with serious emotional, behavioral and cognitive difficulties.

Although we have no record that Flowers was remanded to Abbott House as the result of a PINS petition, students at such schools are often placed in the school based on a PINS petition, typically filed by a parent or guardian.

A person in need of supervision (“PINS”) is an individual under the age of 18 who: (1) does not attend school; (2) behaves in a way that is incorrigible, ungovernable, or habitually disobedient; (3) is beyond the control of a parent, guardian or lawful authority; (4) is suspected of drug abuse; and requires supervision or treatment.

At some point — unknown to Talk of the Sound — Kamal Flowers joined the Crips, a gang based in California. Its members traditionally wear blue clothing and are primarily African-American. The Crips operate in dozens of states with an estimated membership of 35,000. The primary activity of the gang is drug trafficking, murder, assault, auto theft, burglary, extortion, fraud, and robbery.

Flowers went by the nickname “Crazy”. He was known to police as a violent, emotionally disturbed individual.

Despite efforts by some to paint him in a more benign light, Flowers’ record depicts an unpredictable and dangerous habitual criminal; a member of a violent street gang with an extensive criminal history including felony arrests for drug possession and drug sales, acts of violence including domestic violence, weapons possession, and threatening victims with weapons. He once told police that he “was always strapped,” meaning always armed with a gun.

On August 4, 2013, Flowers, then age 17, was arrested in Bedford, NY and charged with Attempted Assault, a Class E felony, Possession of a Weapon — 4th, a Class A Misdemeanor, Obstructing Breath, a Class A Misdemeanor, Menacing — 2nd, a Class A Misdemeanor

The incident took place at 200 Old Post Road in Bedford, NY, the address of the Abbott House.

Flowers displayed an eight-inch kitchen knife with a black handle. He said, “I’m going to kill all you motherfuckers tonight”. He said, “Your pussy, I’m not playing a more I’m going to kill you” then ran towards one of the victims with the knife and tried to stab him with it.

Flowers intentionally choked a victim, grabbing the victims neck with both of his hands and not letting go. Flowers and the victim then fell to the ground. Flowers continued to choke the victim and only stopped the attack when a third party intervened. The victim suffered scratches to his neck area.

Flowers intentionally damaged a locked Staff Officer door by kicking it with his foot causing damage to the door and doorframe.

Kamal Flowers, then 18, was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department on May 21, 2014, and charged with Criminal Sale Controlled Substance, a D Felony, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, a Violation, and Criminal Use Drug Paraphernalia 2nd, an A Misdemeanor.

Flowers was observed by police doing a drug transaction at the corner of Horton Avenue and Brook Street. Police observed a suspect hand money over to Flowers and Flowers hand over a small glass jar containing a white substance. Flowers, wearing a dark blue Yankee hat, fled on a mountain bike westbound on Horton Avenue.

He was quickly apprehended by police. Flowers resisted. He was asked by police if he wanted to get tasered. He twisted his body, turned towards the arresting officer and tensed his body as if ready to fight. He was handcuffed and placed under arrest. Police found a glass jar containing what appeared to be three “twists” of crack cocaine inside the small fifth pocket on the top of the large right front pants pocket. Police observed a clear twisted tied bag that contained eight small Ziploc bags that contained marijuana.

A lab report from the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research in the Division of Forensic Sciences at Valhalla in New York confirmed the three knotted plastic bags containing chunky white material were .7747 grams of crack cocaine.

On October 24, 2014, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged with Grand Larceny 4th, Property from Person, an E Felony, and Menacing/Weapon, 2nd, an A Misdemeanor and unlawful possession of marijuana.

He was sentenced to six months in Westchester County Jail on June 23, 2016 (see below).

The incident began at a parking lot off May Street when Flowers stole $10 from a woman by walking up behind her and forcibly grabbing it out of her hand.

Police responded to a report of a confrontation between a man with a knife and a woman with a tire iron.

The victim later told police she was counting her cash and saw Flowers come up behind her and grab $10 cash and run off. She attempted to chase him but lost sight of him. She then notified her daughter what happened on the telephone. The daughter responded to the scene. Flowers came back to the scene. The daughter approached Flowers and asked why he took her mother’s money.

Flowers said, “I got something for that ass” and pulled a knife. He flicked the blade out towards the mother and daughter then waved the knife in an aggressive manner towards the two victims. The daughter retreated to her car and grabbed a tire iron to defend herself. Flowers backed away as police officers responded to the scene.

Flowers was taken into custody. Police were unable to locate a knife anywhere in the vicinity of the incident. Flowers later stated he never had a knife and claimed the mother gave him the money to buy her marijuana. Flowers stated that the daughter confronted him and said, “Why are you hiding from us?” before she pulled a tire iron out on him.

A search of Flowers, revealed one bag of marijuana in Flowers right front pants pocket.

Flowers asked police “Can I keep my weed?”

Flowers was booked for unlawful possession of marijuana.

On May 15, 2015, Flowers and another person robbed a victim at North Avenue and Sickles Avenue. An attempt was made to take a cell phone and hat, and ultimately a pocket knife was taken. The victim was struck with a bottle by a second suspect. Flowers was arrested on November 2, 2015, and charged with Robbery 1st, a B Felony (see below).

On August 12, 2015, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged with Robbery 3rd, a D Felony. Flowers was in possession of a lime green knife.

The incident occurred on August 11, 2015, when Flowers forcibly pulled off a victim’s green polo jacket and then forcibly got into the victim’s pocket and took the victim’s iPhone. Flowers subsequently returned the iPhone but kept the victim’s jacket.

The victim was walking on North Avenue when he was approached by Flowers who said, “What I told you about walking on North Avenue”. The victim told police he had problems with Flowers in the past, but nothing in the past year. The victim stated Flowers pulled off a green polo jacket that the victim was wearing and Flowers went into the victim’s pants pocket and took his iPhone 4S. A person on the street told Flowers to give back the phone which he did. Flowers then said, “If I see you on North Avenue again I’m going to take your phone or something else”.

Flowers was unable to post bail and was committed to the Westchester County Jail.

On September 6, 2015, Flowers was arrested in the Westchester County Jail and charged with Assault — 2nd, a Class D felony.

Flowers attempted to cause physical injury to a corrections officer by striking the officer with his arm. A struggle ensued where the officer sustained pain to his head.

The incident began when Flowers failed to clear the metal detector.

While exiting the recreation yard, Flowers came out with his shirt off. A corrections officer instructed him to put his shirt on. Flowers replied, “fuck you, say it nice” then put his shirt on.

While going through a metal detector, the alarm went off. Flowers was stopped and directed to do it again. He tried walking right through the alarm and the detector was still going off. The officer placed his left hand on Flowers’ arm to stop him from advancing away from the metal detector and ordered him to go back through again.

Flowers turned abruptly and violently swung his right side of body and arm towards the officer and screamed, “get the fuck off me”. The corrections officer grabbed Flowers by the upper torso and guided him to the wall in an attempt to gain control of him. Flowers aggressively resisted, forcing his body off the wall, striking the officer in the head, causing the officer substantial pain. Another officer responded. The two officers took control of Flowers and guided him to the ground. A Code 13 Signal was called. Other officers arrived and took control of Flowers. The officer with the head injury was taken to Westchester Medical Center for medical attention.

On November 2, 2015, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged in absentia with Robbery 1st, a B Felony. He was booked in abstentia because he was in custody at Westchester County Jail. His arrest was associated with a robbery that occurred on May 15, 2015 at North Avenue and Sickles Avenue. An attempt was made to take a cell phone and hat, and ultimately a pocket knife was taken. The victim was struck with a bottle by a second suspect.

On December 10, 2015, the day after his 20th birthday, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged with Assault — 3rd, an A Misdemeanor.

The arrest occurred after he attacked and punched a woman, the mother of his child, in the face. He spit upon her and continued to attack her while she was on the ground.

The police incident began when a woman ran into the lobby of the New Rochelle Police headquarters with her infant daughter. She was bleeding from her nose and very upset. She told police her baby’s father (Flowers) and his sister, attacked her and beat her after an argument in the home. She stated that during a physical altercation between her and Flowers, he punched her in the face, causing her nose to bleed. She stated Flowers was angry because she was seeing another man, and he threatened her to stay away from all the men. She stated the sister got involved in the fighting and hit her by slamming a door on her and punched her in the face and on the ground outside the home that Flowers held her down, beat her, spit on her and cursed at her while she was on the ground. Other persons at the scene broke up the fight and the victim ran to police headquarters with their baby.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Montefiore Hospital Emergency Room. The victim had a bloody nose and scrapes to her left knuckles. She complained of pain in her nose, chest, and elbows.

The victim stated she was scared for her life that Flowers was going to kill her or injure her as he has attempted in the past.

Police located Flowers. He was uncooperative. He stated he had done nothing wrong, that he argued with the victim because she was rude and feeding a baby medicine. He claimed he broke up the altercation between the victim and another person. He refused to get into a police car for transport but eventually complied.

While arresting Flowers a female approached police and stated, “I don’t know why you’re arresting him, I’m the one that hit her”. The woman later told police, the victim was disrespectful to her brother and a grandmother in the house and attempted to justify slamming a door on the victim. Police arrested the woman and charged her with Assault — 3rd.

Police referred the matter to the New York State Child Abuse Registry because the baby was next to the mother and father, while all the adults were brawling without regard to the baby’s welfare.

On May 5, 2016, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police on a charge of Petite Larceny, an A misdemeanor, and Criminal Mischief 4, an A Misdemeanor. The latter charge was reduced to a violation.

Flowers stole a bottle of vodka from LMC Liquor at 382 North Avenue, a retail location in New Rochelle, by taking it from a customer who had paid for the bottle and walking out of the store.

Flowers stole a bottle of New Amsterdam Pineapple-flavored vodka valued at $14.51.

The victim had bought the vodka, and then was playing lotto and not attending to the purchased bottle of vodka. As Flowers walked out of the store, he noticed the bottle in a black bag on the counter. He took the bottle, held it up in the air then walked out of the store.

Flowers was arrested on the sidewalk near the store. He resisted the walk to the radio car. Police carried Flowers to the radio car. Once at the car Flowers refused to enter the vehicle. Officers placed Flowers in the car. Once inside the car, Flowers kicked the rear passenger side door, causing the window glass to come off the frame and damaging the frame, causing $200 in damage. Flowers was told to stop kicking which he did after causing the damage.

On June 23, 2016, Flowers was sentenced to six months incarceration at Westchester County Jail after pleading guilty to attempted Grand Larceny — 4th for the incident on October 24, 2014.

On December 22, 2016, Flowers was arrested by the Niagara Falls Police Department after a hit-and-run crash at a funeral home. He was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, leaving the scene of an accident and third-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Flowers crashed a vehicle into fencing at the funeral home causing about $200 damage to the fence. He put the car in reverse and tried to pull away, but the car was stuck in the fence. A passenger got out of the vehicle and asked the funeral home owner to call a tow truck and help the driver out of the car because his door was stuck. The owner instead called 911.

Flowers and the passenger fled from the passenger-side door and ran from the scene. After a canvass of the neighborhood, police located both men and arrested Flowers.

The vehicle owner told police she did not give Flowers permission to drive her vehicle.

On February 24, 2017, Flowers was arrested by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Firearm / Knife and for drinking an open container alcoholic beverage in a public place

On February 23, 2017, police received credible information that Flowers, described by police as “a violent emotionally disturbed individual also known as ‘Crazy’”, was in possession of a handgun and was walking in the vicinity of Horton Avenue and Brook Street. Police located Flowers and observed him holding an open Heineken beer, entering the parking lot, opposite 53 Horton Avenue.

Upon becoming aware of a police presence Flowers immediately became irate. He was advised of the received complaint, and he was placed in handcuffs as a safety precautions. Flowers made a spontaneous utterance, “I just got stabbed out here, and I wasn’t playing around anymore I got two knives on me and a BB gun, but it’s for my protection”. Flowers directed police towards his upper waistband. Under his shirt he had a belt strapped to his upper torso as a makeshift holster for the black “Smith and Wesson” pellet gun. Police took the gun and retrieved a silver gravity knife, and a push razor blade (box cutter).

Flowers was unable to post the required $2,500 bail and was committed to the Westchester County Department of Corrections.

The case was transferred to the Integrated Domestic Violence Court as part of the December 10, 2015, incident when Flowers was charged with Assault — 3rd involving a former intimate partner, the mother of his child.

In 2017, Flowers was arrested for a carjacking in Mount Vernon.

The incident began on March 23, 2017, at about 10 p.m. During an altercation on Fourth Street, Flowers struck the man in the face with a firearm. The victim suffered a laceration to his left eyebrow. Flowers fled the scene in a gray four-door sedan, a Nissan Maxima. The man struck in the face by Flowers told police that Flowers was in the Nissan Maxima and had a gun.

The driver of the Nissan Maxima later told police he was driving his vehicle, accompanied by his grandson, when he stopped at a four way stop sign. As he proceeded to make a turn onto South First Avenue and came to a stop at a traffic light. A group of people was standing around his car. Flowers got into the back seat of his car, put a black handgun to his head and told him to drive as a woman got in the car. The woman, Flowers girlfriend, was Shayla Jones (aka, Shaquan Wilson). The pair had with them a 2-year-old child.

The man drove northbound on South First Avenue, disobeying steady red stoplights at the intersections of South First Avenue at East Fourth Street and then South First Avenue at East Third Street.

The police stopped the vehicle and told the people in the car to put their hands out of the windows. The driver and his grandson complied, but the passengers in the rear did not comply with the commands. The two rear passengers, including Flowers, did not follow commands. The pair were observed by police trying to conceal something towards the floor of the vehicle under their feet. As Flowers was taken out of the vehicle, a black handgun fell from his right hip onto the ground. The two people in the rear seat — Flowers and Jones — were handcuffed and then taken to the Mount Vernon Police Department headquarters.

The firearm was an unloaded, black semi-automatic handgun. The weapon was later found to have no serial number or make and model. The firearm did not have a permit.

Police transported a two-year-old female baby to Mount Vernon headquarters. The baby was then turned over to the detective bureau.

While in the cellblock Flowers made several spontaneous utterances: that the gun was his and “that’s all I’m saying”. Flowers said he was previously arrested for possessing a BB gun in New Rochelle. He said he told his girlfriend that everyone is not your friend and that he is always strapped because he’s been stabbed in the face and cut. He stated that he is a gang member, “Crip” from New Rochelle. He said “I know what it is, I’m a rapper, my music is on Soundcloud. I’m official”. Flowers said that the gun recovered by police was his “grip” and that his fingerprints were on it. He stated that his girlfriend — “Shorty” — had nothing to do with the gun, and he knows he will do 3 years in jail for it.

Flowers and Jones were charged with Robbery — 1st. Flowers was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon — 3rd. Flowers was not charged for Assault because the pistol-whip victim declined to cooperate.

Flowers pleaded guilty to Robbery 2 with a firearm. He was sentenced on January 11, 2018 to 3 years and 6 months in prison and booked into State prison on January 23, 2018. A stay-away order was issued for Flowers to have no contact with the two victims.

Flowers was paroled on March 12, 2020, after serving 26 months of his 42-month sentence.

Less than 3 months later, Flowers was shot and killed by New Rochelle police officer Alec McKenna after Flowers fled a traffic stop on the night of June 5, 2020.

The New York State Attorney General’s Officer determined that Flowers was armed with a hand gun recovered at the scene and declined to prosecute McKenna.

A Westchester County Grand Jury failed to indict McKenna for his actions on the night of June 5, 2020.